Writing History, Writing Trauma [NOOK Book]

Overview

Trauma and its aftermath pose acute problems for historical representation and understanding. In Writing History, Writing Trauma, Dominick LaCapra critically analyzes attempts by theorists and literary critics to come to terms with trauma and with the crucial role post-traumatic testimonies—notably Holocaust testimonies—assume in thought and in writing. These attempts are addressed in a series of six interlocking essays adapting psychoanalytic concepts to historical analysis, which, in turn, elucidates trauma and...

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Writing History, Writing Trauma

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Overview

Trauma and its aftermath pose acute problems for historical representation and understanding. In Writing History, Writing Trauma, Dominick LaCapra critically analyzes attempts by theorists and literary critics to come to terms with trauma and with the crucial role post-traumatic testimonies—notably Holocaust testimonies—assume in thought and in writing. These attempts are addressed in a series of six interlocking essays adapting psychoanalytic concepts to historical analysis, which, in turn, elucidates trauma and its aftereffects in culture and in people. This updated edition includes a substantive new preface that reconsiders some of the issues raised in the book.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
LaCapra (history, Cornell University) examines the problem of trauma in historical representation. These six essays address theoretical and literary-critical approaches to the issue, and consider the role of post-traumatic testimonies (especially those concerning the Holocaust) in contemporary scholarship. The depiction of absence and loss, the weight given to the victim's voice, and the relationships between perpetrators and victims are all given a prominent place. An interview with Yad Vashen is also included. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Criticism - Nina Goss and Gary Handwerk

The strength of LaCapra's text lies in its urgency, in the clarity of its commitment to historiographic adequacy and the constructive potential of a psychoanalytic mode of interpretation, and in its appeal to a sense of civic responsibility.

Modernism/Modernity - Walter Kalaidjian

Until now trauma studies lacked the kind of discerning metacommentary that would adjudicate among its emergent logics, truth claims, intellectual strategies, objects of analysis, and scholarly positions. That dream of totalization, however, is precisely what LaCapra casts doubt upon in his important new book.

Holocaust and Genocide Studies - Richard L. Rubenstein

LaCapra's insightful and compassionate Writing History, Writing Trauma concerns the interpretation of historical traumas such as the Holocaust and the traumas' enduring effects. LaCapra both uses and transcends contemporary critical theory in assessing the influence of trauma on present-day historical writing.

Criticism

The strength of LaCapra's text lies in its urgency, in the clarity of its commitment to historiographic adequacy and the constructive potential of a psychoanalytic mode of interpretation, and in its appeal to a sense of civic responsibility.

Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Insightful and compassionate... LaCapra both uses and transcends contemporary critical theory in assessing the influence of trauma on present-day historical writing.

Modernism/Modernity

Until now trauma studies lacked the kind of discerning metacommentary that would adjudicate among its emergent logics, truth claims, intellectual strategies, objects of analysis, and scholarly positions. That dream of totalization, however, is precisely what LaCapra casts doubt upon in his important new book.

SubStance

LaCapra's analysis of trauma is folded into an ambitious and compelling reflection on the possibilities for a genuinely cross-disciplinary theoretical dialogue on history... Important reading not only to trauma theorists and their critics, but to historians and literary critics of all persuasions invested in rethinking the relationship between trauma, history and ethics.

Literary Research
Intellectually complex yet lucid.

— Erik Weisengruber

Tikkun

Thoughtful and compelling... LaCapra's discussions of historiography, philosophy, and psychoanalysis are extraordinarily lucid, and this book is a brilliant example of some of the capabilities of contemporary trauma theory in analyzing representations of trauma.

SubStance - Debarati Sanyal

LaCapra's analysis of trauma is folded into an ambitious and compelling reflection on the possibilities for a genuinely cross-disciplinary theoretical dialogue on history... Important reading not only to trauma theorists and their critics, but to historians and literary critics of all persuasions invested in rethinking the relationship between trauma, history and ethics.

Literary Research - Erik Weisengruber

Intellectually complex yet lucid.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781421412450
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 5/10/2013
  • Series: Parallax: Re-visions of Culture and Society
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 754,219
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Dominick LaCapra is Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies emeritus at Cornell University. His books include History and Its Limits: Human, Animal, Violence and History, Literature, Critical Theory.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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